New York Knicks All-Star Julius Randle, No. 30, visited the Bronx on Tuesday afternoon to make an announcement in front of the 110 ninth grade coed first-year students at the Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School. His words were met with a standing ovation.
Randle was joined by one of his idols, Hall of Famer and former Knicks standout Earl Monroe, school founder Dan Klores, and head of school Kern Mojica. Together, they kicked off his #30 for 3! campaign, in which Randle pledged to provide the school with $500 for every three-point basket he sinks throughout the season. He has earmarked his donation to the high school’s literacy and math intervention programs.
“I love and admire Earl as a Hall of Fame basketball player, but also as someone who gives back to the City of New York,” Randle said. “When I heard about his efforts with the school, I wanted to find a way to support him and these students. As a father, I am highly aware of the value of education and of learning teamwork and skills through sport.”
Last season, Randle hit 160 three pointers and an additional 11 during the Knicks postseason.
“Thanks to Julius’ gift and leadership, the school will now have the resources to have five full-time specific literacy interventionists and at least 30 math tutors,” Monroe said. “He is a remarkable young man and a brother Knick. We’re hoping friends and supporters, young and old, will do their part and match #30 for 3! as they can. If we don’t do everything possible to improve the literacy skills of our youth, the cycle of poverty and disappointment will never end.”
In the first 10 days of the program, the school received matching pledges of an additional $2,200 per shot from investment banks, financial institutions, individuals, board members and local businesses.
Special periods will be set aside every day, Monday-Saturday, for intensive one-on-one or one-on-two hourly sessions with interventionists and the students. The program, which will run through July, will maintain data on a daily basis. It will expand into the school’s second year, when a new class of 110 freshmen is admitted.
“This is our most critical mission,” Mojica said. “The interventionists will work closely with all classroom teachers, parents, our [licensed clinical social worker] and guidance counselor and with special needs experts. We must succeed.”
The Earl Monroe New Renaissance Basketball School, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, opened its doors on Aug. 30. It is the nation’s only high school for basketball that is not for the playing of the game. In addition to the required New York State core curriculum, all students will major in a different facet of the sport: broadcast journalism, personal representation, analytics, print and digital media, nutrition, physical rehab, in-arena entertainment, design, psychology, coaching, marketing, business, law, finance and officiating.